Sri Lanka's innings had sputtered along in fits and starts but without really finding a smooth gear until Seekkuge Prasanna feasted on the bowling of Liam Plunkett and Moeen Ali. Prasanna utilised the pace of Plunkett in pummelling two stray deliveries over the leg-side boundary but his punishment of Moeen in the following over was even more impressive. The first ball was slog-swept over backward square - by far the longest boundary at Trent Bridge. The next delivery was dispatched powerfully in the same direction, but further and with greater disdain. It was Prasanna's fourth six in five balls and suddenly Sri Lanka had found some thrust.
The run out
Angelo Mathews was all set for Sri Lanka's assault on the final ten overs, with four wickets in hand and a quick-scoring Dasun Shanaka at the other end, when it all went horribly wrong. On the first ball of David Willey's over, Mathews drove firmly to extra cover where Liam Plunkett, moving sharply for such a big man, barreled to his right and pulled off a brilliant one-handed stop. Shanaka, who had already backed up several paces down the pitch, was left stranded when Mathews sent him back; the single was never on and Willey completed the run out with an eon to spare.
The surprise howler
When the England camp spoke in the lead up to this match about the need to improve their fielding, it is fair to assume no one had the always dependable and often brilliant Joe Root in mind. So when Farveez Maharoof mistimed a slog straight to Root at long-on, Willey was probably already mentally adding a third wicket to his tally. The sight of Root botching such a straightforward chance left the players, the crowd and probably even Maharoof himself wearing looks usually reserved for unicorn sightings. Root's expression was enough to darken the longest day of the year as he retrieved the ball and hurled it back to the keeper.
Sri Lanka - Mathews, in particular - had copped a barrage of criticism over the use of reviews during the Test series. But Alex Hales raised eyebrows when he gave the T-sign after flicking a sharp Suranga Lakmal delivery straight to Kusal Perera running in at midwicket, in what seemed a straightforward dismissal. Hales appeared to believe he had hit his pad with the bat while the ball deflected off the same pad. It would have been a mighty deflection if so, but a splash of white on Hot Spot left no doubt the original decision was correct and a somewhat red-faced Hales was sent back to the pavilion.
Jos Buttler had offered no genuine chances throughout his aggressive but measured innings until he reached 90. He survived when Prasanna was unable to hold what would have been a brilliant flying catch at short cover but the Sri Lankan claimed his scalp in the next over. Buttler attempted to belt Prasanna over long-on, where Shanaka showed superb timing in his leap and balance in the landing to stay inside the boundary rope and deny Buttler a century.
But for the cruel heart condition that has prematurely ended his career, James Taylor would almost certainly have been part of the England team to play at Trent Bridge. Before the match, and less than two weeks after major surgery, Taylor was out on the field where he had so often performed admirably for Nottinghamshire, this time as part of his new fledgling career - as an occasional commentator for BBC Test Match Special. It was a poignant reminder of the talent England have lost.